So what’s been happening? by Ryle Winn

Ryle Winn

Ryle Winn

A long, long time ago (1981) at a place far, far away (King Scrub) with my favorite, favorite uncle (Ben), we built my house.  I’d had a quote for $75,000 but Ben and I did it for $40,000.

As I look about the house I now realize it needs a facelift.  For that matter, me too.  Not much chance of that.  But I digress.

I bought some paint but that’s as far as I got.  Other considerations took precedence.  The pressure pump that delivers all our household water gave up the ghost at 3 o’clock on a Friday afternoon before a long weekend.  Karyn said with a touch of panic, ‘Can you fix it? We can’t ask anyone else to look at it now.’

I didn’t say, who do you think I am, McGuyver?  Instead, I said, ‘You know me Darl, fix anything.’  She didn’t reply but looked doubtful.

The following day after many frustrating hours and declaring the pump completely unfixable, I arrived home with a new pump – on special, and a bit bigger.  Maybe a bit too much grunt but what a bargain!  Like hell.  I worked the whole bloody weekend, including Monday remember – eight rolls of thread tape, pull the foot valve out of the underground tank twice – ditch the valve and then buy a new one.  It didn’t make any difference.  The pump was obviously leaking, cutting in and out at regular intervals.  More thread tape.  No visible leaks.

  1. I reckon it’s faulty.

But then a little dribble started round the base of the flick-mixer in the kitchen.  It had been weeping for a while.  It soon became a steady stream.  Then the pump burst into life properly.  Bloody hell.  Sheesh!

From this point on the real show began.

The laundry tap barely coped.  Sometimes it worked properly – other times it threatened to swamp half of the house.

The shower rose put out a stream that nearly pinned you to the other wall of the cubicle.  The tooth paste on the brush disappeared down the basin.  The Palmolive Gold went the same way – neatly grated through the plug-hole strainer.

I wasn’t game to even look at the toilet.  It gurgled and farted of its own accord.  Air lock, of course.  I knew some things. However, in due course, necessity prevailed and I had to use the bowl.  I wasn’t in there long.  It began constantly leaking as well.  I wondered if I was game to lift the lid on the cistern. Surely no harm could come my way.

It didn’t, but I discovered something else.  All those years ago, in attempt to conserve water, I tried to put a brick in the bottom in attempt to displace water.  Except the brick wouldn’t fit.  But guess what did? Three old-style stubbies. Collectors items now.

As I emerged from the toilet Karyn looked alarmed. ‘Did you used to drink in there?’

I didn’t even try to explain.  I was too busy calculating the value of my windfall.

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